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Woody looking zucchini plant.

What’s Killing My Zucchini and Squash Plants?

For many of us, this time of year is tough for our zucchini, squash and pumpkin plants. A close inspection of wilting plants may reveal a sawdust-like substance around the soil surface or on the base of the stem. When pushed, the plants typically break and reveal clear evidence of insect feeding through the stem.

Brown beetle with hairy body with black mottled pattern.

What are Those Large Beetles in My Garden?

One of the insects that starts to attract attention this time of year is the bumble flower beetle.

Black beetles with orange or yellow spots feeding on a ripe tomato.

Insects are Invading My Produce!

Ripe fruit that has been injured as well as ground fall fruits often attract undesirable insects into an area.

A pair of hands transplanting a tomato seedling in a black, plastic pot.

Growing Your Own Food

Are you thinking about growing your own fresh vegetables this year, maybe for the first time? In addition to the satisfaction of providing fresh, nutritious and delicious produce for yourself and family or friends, many find working with plants and soil to be a great antidote for the worries and frustrations of the day.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: April 14, 2020

The alfalfa weevil is a major spring insect pest of South Dakota alfalfa. Before 2018, this insect was reported as having large populations throughout much of South Dakota. However, during 2018 and 2019, we received fewer reports of alfalfa weevils, which may have been a result of the cooler and wetter spring conditions that were observed.

variety of garden catalogs laying on a blue background

Choosing Vegetable Varieties for Your Area

Spring is coming and will be here before we know it. Gardeners are reading through catalogs, looking at that new variety of green bean, or maybe a gorgeous new tomato. The catalogs are written to hook you in by making these varieties look as good as possible. The photos are generally mouthwatering and the descriptions often seem a bit over-the-top.

cranberries being loaded by an auger

Cranberries: A colorful and nutritious fruit

Fall is a busy time for farmers in the northern Great Plains, harvesting thousands of acres of corn and soybeans. Not too far away, in central and northern Wisconsin the harvest was in full swing too, but the crop they are harvesting is a small fruit called the cranberry. Wisconsin is the leading state in cranberry production, growing 60% of all of the cranberries consumed in the United States.

Green beetle larvae with a white stripe running down its body.

Alfalfa Weevil Activity Prediction Update: April 20, 2020

During the last week, the colder weather that we experienced across South Dakota resulted in very little degree day accumulation. However, in some areas enough degree days have accumulated to potentially lead to adult activity within alfalfa fields.

orange leaf bags full of leaves with a green rake lying on top

Fall Vegetable Garden Cleanup

It’s that time of year; the days are shorter and getting cooler, your tomato plants look pretty bad after that light frost the other night when you couldn’t cover them up and you are asking what the next step is for your garden. Fall cleanup can help with the success of your garden next year. Diseased plants left over the winter will provide fungal spores or virus particles ready and willing to infect your new plants.

A lush, blooming garden with a variety of colorful plants

Creating a Sensory Garden

A sensory garden is a garden that has a collection of plants that are appealing to one or more of the five senses; sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. Sensory gardens should be accessible for all people to enjoy - disabled and non-disabled. Sensory gardens are typically geared towards young children, but are enjoyed by people of all ages.